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Two Chinese oil workers held by tribesmen in safe conditions: embassy

05-17-2010 08:47 BJT

SANAA, May 16 (Xinhua) -- China's Embassy in Sanaa said on Sunday that the two Chinese oil workers held by armed Yemeni tribesmen told their company by phone that they were in safe conditions.

"Executives of the Chinese oil company called the two Chinese workers held by the tribesmen and talked with them," a spokesman for the Chinese embassy told Xinhua, adding that "the two workers reassured that they are in safe conditions now."

The spokesman said that the embassy has contacted the Yemeni security authorities and asked them to ensure the safe release of the detained Chinese workers as soon as possible.

The two Chinese workers were arranged to stay in a local inn along with their four Yemeni escorts Sunday night, according to the spokesman.

Earlier in the day, Chinese Ambassador to Yemen Liu Denglin said that two Chinese oil company workers along with four Yemeni escorts were temporarily detained by Yemeni armed tribesmen in the southeastern province of Shabwa.

Liu said the two Chinese were held over a dispute between the tribesmen and two of the four Yemeni security escorts, adding the two Chinese are working with Zhongyuan Oil Field Company.

Moreover, a senior security official in the province of Shabwa told Xinhua by phone that Yemeni security escorts who were accompanying two Chinese workers were kidnapped in the area of al- Kamoush tribe, hometown of the kidnappers, near al-Lahya district.

"It took place at 4:00 p.m. local time (1300 GMT) and there were no one hurt," said the official, ruling out any political motive behind the incident.

The official said the case was not complicated, adding that security officials and some executives of the oil company have been engaging in negotiations with chieftains of al-Kamoush tribe to secure their release.

"The chieftain of al-Kamoush tribe pledged to free them in a few hours," the official added.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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